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Safety Tips

Preventing crime and maintaining safe communities is everyone's responsibility. By practising the following personal and property safety tips, you can help reduce the incidents of crime and keep your community safe.


Gift Card Safety

The use of gift cards has become widely popular in North America over the past few years. Approximately 80 per cent of retailers in Canada sell gift cards or certificates. As of 2007, Ontario was the first Canadian province to ban any fees or expiries pertaining to gift cards. They are now treated like cash and must clearly display terms and conditions.

No one can be charged a fee for inactivity or to reactivate a card. All cards retain their dollar value until completely used up. However, some fees can be charged for shopping mall gift cards that are redeemable at multiple stores. Also, gift cards for spa packages or lessons can have some fees and expiry dates.

Always look for the policy of the gift card and make sure you keep them in a safe place. Keep a receipt as proof of the value of the card or get the store to swipe your card and give you the balance.

Tips when purchasing a gift card

Ask the cashier to give you a card that is not on display but kept behind the counter. They're less likely to have been tampered with.

Look for gift cards with concealed security codes or protective sleeves. Check both sides of the card for signs of tampering.

Immediately after purchasing the card, ask the cashier to test it and show you the balance. Make sure it matches the balance listed on the receipt.

Save the original receipt or give it to the recipient. Many retailers will replace drained cards if you can show proof of purchase.

Register cards on store Web sites, if possible. That can make it easier to replace the card in case of fraud.

Use caution when buying gift cards from online auction sites. There's often no way to ensure that the cards are valid and have the listed value.

For more information on crime prevention please contact Cst. Paul Hawrychuk at (905)579-1520 ext. 1775